Bolós X, Oms O, Rodríguez-Salgado P, Martí J, Gómez de Soler B, Campeny G. Eruptive evolution and 3D geological modeling of Camp dels Ninots maar-diatreme (Catalonia) through continuous intra-crater drill coring. J Volcanol Geotherm Res. 2021;419:107369. doi:


Camp dels Ninots is a mixed hard-soft maar-diatreme located in the Catalan Volcanic Zone (NE of Iberia), in which intra-maar lake sediments have preserved one of the most remarkable Pliocene fossil records in Europe. Geophysical surveys combined with the geological map and 11 boreholes, including two new continuous intra-crater drill cores, have enabled the construction of a 3D geological model of this maar-diatreme and its basement. The formation of this maar-diatreme started with a vent-opening phreatomagmatic explosion at the intersection between a regional fault and the Paleozoic groundwater level at a depth of 210 m. We infer and calculate the geometry, dip direction and dip angle of this regional fault. During the eruption, mixed Strombolian and phreatomagmatic episodes occurred, forming the tuff ring and filling the diatreme with minimum estimated volumes of 0.012 and 0.004 km3, respectively. The diatreme infill is composed of three main lithofacies that include tuff-breccias, welded scoriae, and mafic intrusions into the phreatomagmatic breccias. Thus, the stratigraphy of the diatreme succession suggests a progression of explosive events from deeper to shallower zones with short lateral migration of explosion vents, which control its final morphology, without evidence for significant deep enlargement of the diatreme during the later phases. This generated a wide funnel-shaped with low diatreme wall angles that differs from kimberlite pipes with great depths and sharp slope geometries. Hence, such 3D geological model helps to understand the complex architecture of maar-diatreme structures, highlighting the lack of geological modeling of this type of monogenetic system.

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